Sophocles the plays and fragments, Part 5: The Trachiniae. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892.
That your much-admired husband will soon come to your house, revealed in his victorious might.
From what citizen or what stranger did you learn these tidings?
In the meadow, the summer haunt of oxen, Lichas the herald is proclaiming it to many. From him I heard it,
and dashed away so that, in all honesty, having been the first to report this news, I might profit in some way by you and win your favor.
And why is he not here, if he is so successful?
He does not, my lady, enjoy ease of movement. The entire Malian populace
stands about him in a circle and questions him, and he cannot move forward. Each person is bent on learning according to his desire, and will not release the man until he has heard his pleasure. Thus against his wishes, but in keeping with theirs, he is with them. Yet you will soon see him face to face.
O Zeus, ruler of the sacred uncut meadow of Oeta, at last, though after much delay, you have given us joy! Uplift your voices, you women within the house and you beyond our gates, since now we enjoy the brightness of this message, which has risen on us beyond my hope!
Let the brides of tomorrow raise a joyous cry for the house with shouts of triumph at the hearth. Among them let the yell of the men go up in unison for Apollo of the bright quiver, our defender! And at the same time,
maidens, lift up a paean, cry aloud to his sister, Ortygian Artemis, huntress of deer, goddess with torch in each hand,
and to the nymphs her neighbors! I am uplifted, I will not spurn the flute—O you master of my heart! Behold, his ivy stirs me! Euoe!
Quickly it wheels me round in Bacchus’s race! Oh, oh, Paean! Look, dear lady! All is taking shape, plain to see, before your gaze.
I see it, dear maidens; the sight has not escaped my watchful eyes. I see that procession. I bid the herald joyous welcome after his long absence!—if indeed you bring anything that gives joy.
Enter Lichas, followed by captive maidens.Lichas
We are happy in our return, and happy in your greeting,
lady, in accordance with the deed achieved. For when a man has fair fortune, it is his right to win good welcome.
Most welcome man, tell me first what first I would know—shall I receive Heracles alive?
I certainly left him alive and well,
in vigorous health, unburdened by disease.
Where, tell me—in his ancestral land, or on barbarian soil?
There is a headland of Euboea, where to Cenaean Zeus he marks out altars and fruitful ground in tribute.